Hull and East Ridings Leading Chimney Sweeping and Stove Service Team
Starting your fire
Why & When to Sweep
How a chimney works
Opening Up fireplace
Starting your fire
Different Fuels
Chimney cowels
Chimney Problems
Problems cont....

We all have to light the fire for the first time each autumn. Here are two tips to make an easy job of it.

  1. Have you had the chimney swept? Yes? Then you can proceed. Put your hand over the throat of the flue, do you feel an up draught? Yes? Then you can light the fire. If the chimney has not been swept then call me to sweep it before you light it. If you cannot feel an up draught, or if there's a down draught, again call me to check the flue for you, it will be money well spent.
  2. First warm the flue before you light the fire. You can do this in two ways; light a few fire-lighters in the grate with just a few peaces of kindling wood, and allow them to burn out, then make and light your fire, but remember to keep the fire low for the first hour or so. Alternatively you can use a gas blowtorch to warm the flue, make sure it is well alight before you point it right up the flue throat for a few minutes, remove the gas blowtorch turn it off, and light the fire.

There is no magic in starting a fire, but some do find it difficult. Here is how to get it started, and how to keep it burning safely.

  1. Start with some newspaper. Roll each sheet into long strips and tie into a knot. Do this a number of times and lay the knots in the grate. Add a firelighter as this will aid the burning. Next take some kindling wood and make a cone shape around the paper, then add just a few pieces of coal or wood making sure there is plenty of room for air to circulate. Make sure you only use dry wood and coal.

  2. Strike a match. A long one is best. Set light to the paper and kindling As it proceeds to burn, carefully add more coal around the base of the fire, always making sure that the air can still circulate. Using a pair of tongs continue to add more coal. And there, you have a nice roaring fire. Sit back and enjoy it. If you leave the room for any period of time make sure you put the fireguard in front of the fire before you leave.

  3. Now that the fire is burning well, each day you should check and empty the ash, if it is allowed to build up it will reduce the ventilation beneath the fire and it won't burn effectively.

  4. Never throw rubbish on the fire, recycle your waste, small sweet wrappings and empty crisp bags are a major cause of chimney fires.

  5. Keep your coal in a scuttle near to hand, but not too near the fire for safety's sake.

  6. In the New Year if you have been burning bituminous house coal it will be time to have the chimney swept again. It needs sweeping once during the burning season and once again when you finish using the fire; you are then ready for the coming autumn. When you will want to start lighting up again.


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